West Side Folk

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Montage of Spring 2004 Performers

News:Earlier in the day before his concert for West Side Folk, Jeff Black is doing a songwriting clinic at Mass Street Music in Lawrence. You can get the details here.

West Side Folk Concerts

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Winter/Spring 2015

February 6
at Unity

Jack Williams (Kasey Rausch opens)

Jack WilliamsI'll come right out and say this: Jack Williams is one of the best musicians you have probably never heard of.  His music, rooted in his native South Carolina, was shaped by a 54-year career of playing folk, rock, jazz, R&B, classical and the popular music of the 30s, 40s and 50s.
Listen to what these musical luminaries that Jack has worked with have to say. Mickey Newbury: “An American Treasure.” Peter Yarrow: “the best guitar player I've ever heard.” Tom Paxton: “One of my all time favorite pickers.” Jack has also worked with the likes of Harry Nilsson, John Lee Hooker, Hank Ballard, and Big Joe Turner. He's played jazz trumpet and classical guitar. His songs have been recorded by the likes of Tom Jones and David Clayto-Thomas.
“.... his artistry... is nothing short of amazing. Dazzling picking, expressive voice, unique and interesting songs.” Rich Warren, WFMT "Midnight Special", Chicago IL
“...like a South Carolina version of an acoustic Bruce Springsteen with Jerry Garcia on acoustic lead guitar.” Mike Agranoff - Folk Project and Minstrel Coffeehouse, Morristown NJ
Jack has constantly avoided he compromises of the commercial music industry during his 50+-year professional career, and prefers touring under the radar, playing concerts, large and small, week in and week out, with his greatest love reserved for intimate venues with a personal connection to his audience. But he has also wowed the audience at the most prestigious folk festivals, from Newport to Boston, from Philly to Kerrville.

Kasey Rausch is a fourth-generation musician who has spent more than two decades traveling across the nation playing and writing Americana-rooted music. Her family’s musical roots can be found in Kansas City, Parkville and the Missouri Ozarks, as well as Winfield, Kansas, home of the legendary Walnut Valley Festival.


February 27
at Unity

Brother Sun

Brother SunGreg Greenway, Pat Wictor, and Joe Jencks have made their mark as touring singer-songwriters, but Brother Sun is no songwriter's round. The trio's harmonies, as much as their lyrics, tell what they are about: warm as a campfire, stirring as a gospel church, rousing as a call to arms. Fusing folk, Americana, blues, pop, jazz, rock, and a cappella singing, Brother Sun is an explosion of musical diversity and harmony, in the finest of male singing traditions.
The response to the trio's music has been tremendous! From main stage performances with standing ovations at Kerrville, Falcon Ridge, Philadelphia, Old Songs, Connecticut and other Folk Festivals; to sold out concerts throughout the U.S.A, Brother Sun has earned the respect of fans, colleagues, and presenters alike. And, their music and message appeals to fans of both contemporary and traditional music.
Some Part of The Truth (2013) debuted at #1 on the Folk-DJ Chart, where it remained for 2 months, and received strong airplay for the entire year, ending as the #1 CD on the chart for all of 2013.  The CD also rose to #2 on Sirius XM's Americana Chart, and Sirius XM's The Village program director, Mary Sue Twohy said  “Gorgeous!  Some Part of the Truth stacks harmonies rich as chocolate three layer cake with sweet butter frosting ... Greg Greenway, Joe Jencks and Pat Wictor have created true powerhouse collaboration in song, voice and justice. But the songs, the way each word is indeed sung, and the arrangements make this record a needle shining brightly in a haystack.” Rich Warren, host of The Midnight Special on WMFT in Chicago, says “Brother Sun's Some Part of the Truth reawakens my soul and reminds me why sharing music matters.  Only a few of the thousand releases I receive grab my ears while gripping my heart. Such is Some Part of Truth.”


March 13
at Lied Pavilion

Connie Dover

Connie Dover Acclaimed by the Boston Globe as “the finest folk ballad singer America has produced since Joan Baez,” Connie Dover is a singer, poet and Emmy Award-winning producer and composer. Her soaring, crystal-clear voice and inspired arrangements of the music of Scotland, Ireland and early America display a depth and breadth of range that have established her as one of the world's pre-eminent traditional singers. Says The Scotsman (Scotland's nationa newspaper), “Just occasionally, a voice arrives on the folk scene that is so pure, so beautiful, so magical, that it tells you: this is how to sing a song. Such a voice has Connie Dover.”
Connie performs in concert, on radio and television around the world, and she has been a featured guest on NPR's Weekend Edition, A Prairie Home Companion, and the Thistle and Shamrock. She has released four critically-acclaimed solo albums, and her music can be heard on many soundtracks and recordings of folk and world music. She is a recipient of the Speakeasy Prize in Poetry and the Yellowstone and Teton Song Contest Grand Prize.
Connie was born in Arkansas and raised in Missouri. She studied at Oxford University, and she has researched music from Edinburgh, Scotland to Miles City, Montana. Connie spends her summers cooking on a ranch in northwest Wyoming, and she is a cook and guide at a remote winter camp in Yellowstone National Park. It was around Wyoming campfires, trading songs with old-time cowboys, where Connie discovered that the ancient ballads she learned in Scotland were still being sung on cattle trails in the Rocky Mountains. Connie Dover possesses that most rare of instruments, a voice so evocative, so perfect that it makes other voices pale in comparison. “Hers is a universal voice, so steeped in tradition that it conjures images of Scotland, of Ireland, of Appalachia, of the Old American West. . . . a consummate singer.” - Old West Journal
Connie will be accompanied by the marvelous Kelly Werts, a two time finalist in the National Finger Style Guitar Championships in Winfield.


April 24
at Lied Pavilion

Kelley Hunt

Kelley HuntWe're thrilled to present Kelley Hunt in an intimate, solo setting.  Kelley Hunt's music is steeped in blues/roots/gospel traditions and shows refreshing originality. She makes music with righteous roots that also crosses boundaries, has an open-minded, exploratory attitude and takes on social and political issues. Together with a commanding, passionate stage presence and superior vocal, keyboard and songwriting skills she has earned the respect of critics, fans and music professionals across North America and Europe.
Legendary record producer Jerry Wexler (Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Wilson Pickett, to name a few), said “Great to hear real music with respect for the righteous roots. Her singing is outstanding no frills, down to the bone and intense.” The Minneapolis Star-Tribute noted that she's “equally impressive as soulful, throaty vocalist and an aggressive, gospelly pianist.”  Vintage Guitar says “Her piano playing and songwriting also function at the highest levels.”  From the Toronto Globe and Mail: “Hard-driving, gospel-influenced piano blues and ballads. Her vocals are rich and limber - there's not a tentative bone in her body.”
Kelley Hunt has performed on festival stages around the world, and six times on A Prairie Home Companion,  and has drawn upon her roots in blues, gospel and r & b music to craft her own distinctive performance style.  Beyond that, however, she has emerged as a powerful songwriter as well, and this intimate setting is the perfect showcase to appreciate Kelley Hunt the songwriter.


May 9
at Unity

Jeff Black

News:Earlier in the day before his concert for West Side Folk, Jeff Black is doing a songwriting clinic at Mass Street Music in Lawrence. You can get the details here.

Jeff Black"His words and voice hold down center stage with a craft so deeply in the artistic pocket that it obscures anything outside"- No Depression
We are thrilled to present the West Side Folk debut of one of the finest songwriters of our times, Jeff Black.  Black's songs have earned GRAMMY recognition, radio chart-topping stats and numerous BMI awards. Although flying below the radar as a performer himself, he has been recognized by NPR as a musical pioneer in the digital age and his catalogue of critically acclaimed albums continues to grow. Composing music for film and television, his credits include numerous indie-film soundtracks and a repertoire of songs cut by artists as diverse as Alison Krauss & Union Station, Waylon Jennings, Dierks Bentley,  John Oates, Jerry Douglas and Sam Bush. Black has forged a reputation as a true folk troubadour entertaining audiences globally for over three decades. A master songwriter and performer in the tradition of the great storytellers, his passionate, soul driven live performances of songs from his vast catalog are not to be missed.  This Liberty, Missouri native not only has a stirling repuation in Nashville, but was also voted by Boston's WUMB radio one of the top 100 most important folk artists of the last 25 years.  "His songs are damn near perfectly crafted and filled with the wisdom of the ages." (PopMatters)  No Depression says of Jeff's latest CD, Folklore: “This is True Americana, when compared with the plethora of music that is touted as such.” and “Recollections of the generational connectedness of family life, during a simpler age, reside at the heart of FOLKLORE. It's a precious trait that many fail to practice with any intensity here in the 21st millennium.”

Buy Online

These concerts start at 7:30pm.

Season Tickets Make Great Gifts!
Buy a season ticket and see all five regular Winter/Spring
concerts for just $91 (a $15 savings!)

Check out other area concerts like these:

Mass Street Music Masters Series logo

Mass Street Music presents occasional concerts and clinics.

Visit this page or phone 785-843-3535 for more info.

More area folk information.

West Side Folk works because of its volunteers and supporters. Find out how you can help here.

WSF t-shirt Support West Side Folk and advertise your support of folk music in general with a T-shirt, cap, mug, or other item emblazoned with one of our logos. Available in a range of styles, colors, sizes at www.cafepress.com/westsidefolk.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Kansas Public Radio
FM 91.5 Lawrence · FM 89.9 Atchison · FM 90.3 Chanute · FM 89.7 Emporia
FM 91.3 Olsburg-Junction City
· FM 99.5 Manhattan
www.massstreetmusic.com www.themerc.coop

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Look here for other regional folk events:

Tuesday Concert (Lawrence)
Lawrence's songwriter showcase. Tuesdays at 7:30pm at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire.
Songwriters Circle of Kansas City
Info: 816-363-1917
Crosscurrents (Kansas City)
Crosscurrents info: 816-292-2887 www.crosscurrentsculture.org
Missouri Valley Folklife Society
(Kansas City)
Info: 816-691-8717, www.mvfs.org
Kansas Public Radio
Presenting folk on the airwaves, including Trail Mix and Prairie Home Companion. Visit the online Trail Mix event calendar for upcoming folk, bluegrass, and Celtic events.
Kansas Folk Music and Dance Resource Center
Linking the past and present and future of folk, including links to folk events and organizations statewide

Concert Locations

Unity Church (wheelchair accessible)
9th & Madeline (3/8 mile west of Iowa Street on 9th St). Directions

The Pavilion at Lied Center (wheelchair accessible)
1600 Stewart Drive (on KU's West Campus). Directions


Season Tickets: 
Season Tickets save money & give you reserved seats front and center at each concert! (All other seating is general admission only). Get all five regular Winter/Spring concerts for just $91 (a fifteen dollar savings).

Ticket Outlets: 
Individual and season tickets are available via mail order or (with credit card) online. Individual tickets will also be available at Mass Street Music in Lawrence. Send mail orders, with checks made out to West Side Folk, to: West Side Folk, c/o Bob McWilliams, 3026 Longhorn Drive, Lawrence, KS 66049. Please include an email address and/or phone number so we confirm receipt of your mail order. Mail order tickets will be held at door, unless you include a SASE.

Credit card orders: Tickets purchased online via credit card will require presentation of photo ID and the original credit card, or government-issued photo ID at the door.

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This page maintained by Brad Levy